October 06, 2009

Pastor's PEn #2

Deficits. We seem to hear that word a lot these days. Governing parties debate with the opposition how much of a financial deficit is acceptable in the midst of an economic downturn. Politicians muse about a democratic deficit in our Parliamentary processes. Analysts have been talking for years about an infrastructure deficit as our streets and bridges and sewer/water systems age beyond their expected lifespan. Economists constantly watch trade numbers and talk about trade deficits. But with all this talk about deficits is it possible we have missed the biggest deficit of all?

I think we have. I think at almost all levels of our lives together we have a more important deficit to worry about. And in fact, to a degree, dealing with this deficit will help us find a way to deal with all the rest. This is the deficit of vision.

One of my favourite verses in the Bible comes from the book of Proverbs. In the King James Version it is translated Where there is no vision, the people perish. This verse is in fact inscribed over the West window of the Peace Tower in Ottawa. Vision is vital for us to survive and thrive as a society and as a community.

So what is our vision as a faith community? Why are we here in this place at this time? This is a vital question for Riverview to answer as we move forward. Only when we have a vision, a sense of mission can we remain passionate and excited about our future. And without that passion and excitement we will always be worrying about meeting the budget and paying the bills.

The time has come to ask ourselves hard questions about the future of Riverview. We need to determine what path lies to a thriving life as a faith community. We simply can’t continue as we have been, the money just won’t allow it. We need to develop a sense of who God is calling us to be. That is what a vision is for a church. It is my fear that we have gotten so used to the survival game that we have lost a clear vision of who God wants us to be.

Next year at the annual meeting we hope to really start the discussion of who we are and where we are going. All are welcome to help us erase any deficit of vision we may have. And the hope is that once we erase that deficit the financial deficit will disappear as well.

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